Initializing a model object (descend. of ActiveRecord::Base)

I am attempting to add a custom initialization method to my model

However, when I do this, I start getting complaints about
“method_missing” on my model attributes (that should be handled by the
ActiveRecord::Base mapping stuff).

Is there something special that I have to do to add an initialize method
to a descendant of ActiveRecord::Base?

I thought that calling super.initialize inside of my initialize would
work but apparently it doesn’t.